Woman wins US$1.2 million after betting $18 at Kentucky Derby

May 5, 2018; Louisville, KY, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) races Corey J. Lanerie aboard Promises Fulfilled (3) during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports

At this year’s Kentucky Derby, one woman placed a US$18 bet and came home with $1.2 million.

The Derby, which took place Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the biggest horse races in the U.S.

Margaret Reid of Austin was at Retama Park, near San Antonio, wagering on the day’s racing. Reid wagered $18 on a Pick 5 bet, picking which horses she thought would win the Derby and the four Churchill Downs races leading up to it.

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She got $1.2 million back because she picked all the winners correctly: Limousine Liberal in the Churchill Downs Stakes, Maraud in the American Turf Stakes, longshot Funny Duck in the Pat Day Mile Stakes, Yoshida in the Old Forester Turf Classic Stakes, then Justify in the Derby.

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Her winnings almost match what the horse and team won in the Derby itself ($1.24 million).

“It was a big ticket because it was a couple of long shots in the middle of it,” she told KENS 5 News.

The biggest longshot was Funny Duck, who was billed at 39-1 odds heading into its race.

“It was an amazing feeling yes, that you won a really big, like a really big ticket. A mini-lotto if you will.”

Reid says she is an avid horseracing fan, and made the bets carefully.

She says she’ll use some of the money to pay for her daughter’s schooling.

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“It’s extremely rare,” Rachel Bagnetto, spokesperson for the racetrack where Reid made the bet, told ABC News. “To bet that little amount of money and win $1.2 million is unheard of. In fact, it’s the first time it’s happened at [the track].”

She’s not the only one who won big. Business Insider reported on a man who picked Justify to win the Derby before the race was even set.

With the help from a friend, one bettor picked Justify from a tip that he would be aiming for the Derby back in February, before the horse had even raced, BI reports.

That made his odds 300/1, and cashed out his $500 ticket at $150,000.

ESPN verified the ticket.

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